What Is Your Warrior Ethos!

What is your warrior ethos?

The term warrior is often thought of as applying to an individual who fights, such as a soldier or martial artist.  However, I believe we are all warriors of life and to that extent most of us live by some sort of moral code that guides us.  We change as we grow and we are always trying to figure out our place in life, whether it be professionally, personally or internally.  Your ethos is just that – yours and yours alone.  It should speak to your soul and if no one else gets it then that is perfectly okay.

I have listed a few of mine in no particular order for your criticism and your entertainment.

Set the standards by leading by example.

Never ask a teammate to do something you have not already done or are not willing to do.

The team is more important than any one person within the team.

Think of the needs of your teammates prior to your own.

Let your decisions be guided with just cause, compassion and respect.

If you share all you have with your teammate you will be rewarded with a with  a wealth of knowledge, skill and most importantly, you will understand what loyalty, love and friendship truly means.

Listen more than you talk. (I personally struggle a lot with this.)


Selflessness produces courage because it binds people together and proves to each individual that they are part of a team.

Embrace adversity not from the flank but head on with confidence, courage and conviction.

Let your life be guided by the light of the sun and the moon and not the empty darkness of nothingness.

Courage to me is defined not by the absence of fear but rather having fears and facing them regardless of the danger to oneself.


Guro Brian Brown
Owner/Chief Instructor
Atlanta Martial Arts Club

How Do You Train?

As the year comes to a close it is natural for us to look back at the progress that we have made for that year (And often all the years prior as well.) and to hold ourselves accountable to the goals we set for ourselves.   Personally, I am a very BIG believer in setting goals and I do this in my professional life, my personal life and of course this includes my martial arts training as well.  Assuming that world doesn’t end on the 20th due to the Mayan calendar and the zombies do not rise up and eat our brains when 2013 gets here I will have over 22 years of martial arts training time in.  During that time I have changed the way that I train over and over due to factors such as the personal philosophy of my instructors, the particular attributes of whatever system/style I am training at the time, injuries and of course dealing with an aging body.
As I look back at all those years and thousands of hours spent training I often think to myself “I wish I knew back then what I know now regarding training methods”.  So, that got me thinking deeply about how valuable the time is that we spend training because time is something that we never get back and once it is gone it’s just that ; gone.
So how do I train now?
Right now I feel like I have surrounded myself with amazing teachers and in turn I have the best group of students that any instructor could ever ask for.  However, when I train, I train with a very specific purpose and I set a goal for that training session.  I do this when I am taking lessons from my teachers and I also do this with teaching my own students.  Something I have learned through all these years that if you really want to improve in anything that you are doing you have to break it down and work on the little details piece by piece and then putt all the little details together and that is where your improvement will come from.
This sounds really easy but there is one thing that makes this difficult and that is the human ego.  You have to let go and not worry about winning or competing because that will only slow you down.  Let’s take a look at 2 examples.
Brazilian Jui Jitsu/BJJ
Much of the time spent during BJJ training is spent rolling/sparring and one thing that I have see over and over is that some guys think that every roll is a championship match and if they do not go all out and try their absolute hardest then they are not doing BJJ. I have even seen and experienced that some guys will have a submission and the other guys won’t tap when he clearly is caught and that results in an injury.  In my opinion this could not be further from the correct way to train and it is horrible for your personal growth.  When I first started my training under my current BJJ instructor he was a high level purple belt at that time and whenever we rolled he would always give me a dominate position and fight to get out then work to finish.  He is now a black belt and I am a purple belt and now I am the guy giving up a position every time I roll.  I am doing this because I now train with a purpose and I give up the position because I am more interested in learning the details of how to get out of a bad position against all sorts of opponents with all sorts of body types and skill sets rather than being obsessed with “winning”.  Its sounds simple but you have to be willing to let go emotionally and not care about being dominated or submitted and keep your focus on TRAINING WITH A PURPOSE.
Cacoy Doce Pares Escrima
Like BJJ CDP Escrima training much of the time is spent sparring and sparring with an opponent very close to you swinging a stick at your head very fast. It is a very fast and complex system and It takes quite a bit of time getting used to having a stick blaze by your head around 70 mph and not completely freaking out and freezing.  My instructor is constantly pushing me to relax and be softer and to work on feeling what my opponent is doing but in order to do this you have to let go of the desire to win and focus on slowing down, relaxing and breaking the little details down.  He is constantly allowing his senior student to start a sparring session with him by landing many strikes over and over and if you were a observer not knowing what was going on it looks like that the student would be beating the teacher.  What is actually happening is the teacher is watching striking patterns and feeling what the student is doing.  He is leading by example and saying to the student without words. See how I am learning?  Do you see that I am TRAINING WITH A PURPOSE?  I am teaching you without words and you are feeling what I am thinking through my touch, my relaxation and my intentions.
It is this method of learning that I wish I would have adopted over 20 years ago when I started my martial journey and it is only due to the quality of teacher that I have now that I am training this way.  If you asked both my BJJ and Escrima teachers I know they would both tell you that it is only because they in turn have had amazing teachers that showed them a better way.
I believe that if you want to be successful at something a great way to become successful is to find someone that has been successful in whatever you are interested in and model their road map. As, my teacher taught them and how my current teacher teach me I now teach and train my students with a purpose.